***Update***: Answers to the quiz can be found here.
Three of the following 15 behaviors are not a religious or spiritual practice — I made them up. Can you guess which three? No Googling and no peeking at the comments from smartypants readers!
1. During the yearly fall festival, taking enemas of lemongrass smoke, for purification.
2. Throwing a baby off a five-story building for good luck.
3. Transferring one’s sins onto a condemned-to-death chicken.
4. Regarding the marks in one’s underwear as a sacred symbol.
5. Chopping up dead bodies and feeding the chunks to birds.
6. Pulling chariots uphill with ropes attached to sharp hooks that pierce one’s back.
7. Spitting on a newborn baby and telling the infant how bad it’s being.
8. Sucking the freshly-cut, bloody penis of a baby boy.
9. Ingesting several pounds of pebbles or shells before a ritual swim in a holy lake.
10. Eating a cracker in the belief that it is the actual body of a tortured half-god.
12. Running naked through the streets while inviting thousands to play tag.
13. Sticking one’s hands in gloves filled with large predatory ants and enduring their immensely painful bites.
14. Pleading for fertility by sneaking up behind a male cloven-hoofed animal and licking its testicles.
15. Taking sacred instruction to relieve the sorrow and anxiety caused by disembodied alien souls.
Extra points for matching the 12 non-fictional ones with the correct religion, tribe, or cult. Hit the comments to explain your hunches, guesses, and thoughts.
Stay tuned — I’ll publish the answers tomorrow!